My Morning Jacket
Psychedelic reverb-botherers My Morning Jacket have been thrilling us for the best part of a decade, and now they've taken the high road and released a live album, containing tracks from all their previous L.Ps.
Listening to this vast collection shows what an expansive back catalogue Jim James and Co have, with tracks touching base on big 70s style rock, reggae, funk and country, but all of them retaining the trademark epic MMJ sound. "Dodante" and "Run Thru" are ten minutes opus' that sound like the Flaming Lips doing Pink Floyd, but manage to sit quite comfortably next to the sweet country-tinged "Xmas Curtain", which comes complete with a delightfully incongruous steel drum solo.
What is truly amazing, though, is the level of skill and sheer ambition on display here. If it weren't for the cheering of the faithful, you'd be forgiven for thinking this was a studio album, such is the perfection of the soundscapes the band create. That's not to say they merely rehash the studio versions, all 21 tracks sound fresh, even the oldest songs appear reinvigorated, James' primal howl sending them skyward, even when they threaten to sink.
And, to be fair, there are a few moments that test the patience, the
noodling and soloing being best in small doses, is pushed to its very limit on "Off The Record." But, given the overall quality of the music on offer on Okonokos, you can let this minor quibble slip by and enjoy two sides of quality live music.